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Full text of "Prospectus of the Dos Hermanos"

PROSPECTUS 



OF THE 



DOS HERMANOS 

MINING AND MILLING 
COMPANY. 



SCR ANTON, PA.: 

M, k. Walter, Printer. 
1889. 



OFFICERS. 

W. J. MCCARTHY, President, . . . .St. Clair, Pa. 

A. L. FRANCOIS, Vice-President, . . . Scranton, Pa. 

A. J. SHORTALL, Secretary, .... Pottsville, Pa. 

M. J. HEALEY, Treasurer Dunmore, Pa. 

F. P.. WILSON, Attorney New York 

P. H. O'HORA, Superintendent. 
W. B. TAYLOR, Assayer. 



TRUSTEES. 

I. F. Megargel, Scranton, Pa. 
James Bell, Scranton, Pa. 

H. T. Howell, Scranton, Pa. 

Samuel McEachen, Scranton, Pa. 
C. D. Kaier, Mahanoy City, Pa. 
M. J. Whalen, Shenandoah, Pa. 
James Young, Dunmore, Pa. 

W. J. McCarthy, St. Clair, Pa. 
S. B. Mott, Scranton, Pa. 

P. J. Ferguson, Shenandoah, Pa. 
A. J. Shortall, Pottsville, Pa. 
A. I,. Francois, Scranton, Pa. 
T. J. Foster. Scranton, P< 




The First Land Discovered 

by Columbus 

on this Continent. 



^^^^■■■"'■■■'OXDURAS, to which American thought has 

l,^aMi^^ been of late so much attracted, first became 

■f^ ^^^ known to the civilized world in August of 

^^ ^^ 1502. Twelve years before, the greatest and 

•^^^ bravest of Spanish explorers and discoverers, 

W^ Christobal Colon, had made a voyage over the 

^JKm^^ I then trackless ocean toward this unknown 

1 world of ours, and touched upon the southern 

V* end of our great continent, and founded a 

colony on the Island of St. Domingo. Ee had 

returned to his mother-country to report his discoveries, of which 

the crown took advantage and then repaid him by passively, if not 

actively, giving its aid to the efforts of his jealous enemies to traduce 

his fame. Although thus beset by human foes, smarting under the 

base ingratitude of a sovereign he so well served, and racked by 

physical sufferings, (ohm still believed himself to be the chosen 

instrument of God, to fully discover and give to the Spanish empire 
a vast western possession of land and material wealth. What he 
had seen on the West India Islands led him to believe, and with 
reason, that farther north there were greater ami richer treasures 
to be found, and that on him devolved the duty and the privilege 
of their discovery and revelation to the world. 

Imbued with this idea he set forth, May !>, 1602, at the age of 78 
years, with an expediti f live small ve88els, the largest seventy 



A. HONDURAS: ITS BISTORT, 

tons burthen, and manned by 150 men, including himself— his 
brother, Don Bartholomew Colon, a mariner of excellent judgment, 
considerable experience, and absolutely without fear as an explorer, 
qualities which had won him the title of "Adelantado" — and his 
youngest son, Don Fernando, very young in years, but remarkably 
well endowed with those qualities which had made his parent 
famous. 

The expedition safely crossed the ocean until near St. Domingo, 
when a tempest well-nigh wrecked it. Even here the baleful influence 
of court intrigue and monarchical duplicity met Colon, for the gov- 
ernor of the island refused him and his party an asylum, and they 
lay for days buffeted about on the waters, but eventually collected 
together on the coast of the island, where they repaired their vessels 
and started again on their voyage. 

After touching at several small islands northward of St. Domingo, 
he finally landed, July 30th, on Guanaja, which he named Isle of 
Pines. It was the first land in Central America that Spanish foot had 
trod, and was the beginning of a long and fateful domination. Colon 
found the Guanajans very different from the West-Indians in many 
respects. They were better-dressed, more civilized generally, and 
were neither frightened by the Spaniards nor indisposed to trade 
with them. The character of their arms was superior and more 
serviceable, while the wares they sold were of a more varied descrip- 
tion. 

Merely stopping for a short investigation of the Islanders, Colon 
pressed forward to what he had learned was the mainland of America, 
reaching it and effecting a landing on the 14th of August. The point 
of landing they called Caxinas, known now as Truxillo, Honduras, 
and there, for the first time, was a Christian mass celebrated, and 
the date set from which was to decline and vanish the Pagan religion, 
which through the untold centuries had befogged the minds and 
murdered the bodies of the people. 

Coasting along the shores, Colon's party finally dropped into the 
river Tinto, a deep stream, up which they sailed a short distance to 
reach a good landing-place. Here the Spanish standard was raised, 
and in the name of his parent-country Colon took possession of the 
peninsula, inaugurating a rule that was to last three centuries, 
fraught with blood, crime, rapine, and tyranny, hut still to give to 
the civilized world the knowledge and the benefits of the fairest and 
richest portions of America. They found a varied Indian popula- 



GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. 5 

tion here, dressing but sparsely if at all, differing in language and 
features from any they had yet seen, but lacking any fear of the 
whites, with whom they freely associated and traded. 

Still exploring the coast, Colon gave the section three names : 
Guayraura, from an Indian town on the coast ; Hiburas, from the 
finding of some pumpkins at sea, called in Santa Domingo tribures ; 
Honduras, because of the deep waters they found there, which pre- 
vented their anchoring, and in a storm that overtook them so well- 
nigh destroyed the expedition that all on board shrived themselves 
for death. Finally, they rounded a cape and reached smoother 
waters on the Mosquito coast, called by the natives, Cariay. The 
vessels were in bad condition, but still the determined Colon went 
on until he reached the island of Quiribidi, where he anchored, and 
his crew regaled themselves with the delicious fruit that grew 
abundantly everywhere. 

The Indian people of the mainland here were greatly frightened 
by the ships and the appearance of Colon's party, and for some time 
were proof against all overtures of peace. Eventually, however, the 
prudence and sagacity of Colon disarmed their fears, and they at 
length courted communication. They offered inferior golden gifts 
to the Colonites, which were refused, as Colon preferred at this junc- 
ture to give rather than receive. In this he offended the natives and 
temporarily checked his own search for knowledge. Not for long, 
though ; and he was at length enabled to land on the main coast, 
and partially explore the interior, of the country, but without find- 
ing the amount of treasures expected, and for which their avarice 
had tempted many of the adventurers to the new world. The evi- 
dences were found of the existence of such treasures, but the kernel 
was not for them. They found corpses everywhere embalmed and 
preserved in cotton cloths, while the coffins in which (hey lay wen- 
carved in figures and portraits with a skill that betold communica- 
tion witli a higher grade of people somewhere. In the search for this 
people, and the wealth that they assuredly possessed, Colon sailed 
along thecoast beyond the limits of Honduras, but not finding them 
he soon after returned to Spain, a bitterly disappointed man— disap- 
pointed, in that he thought that he had merely reached the shores 
of India, and thus failed in his journey. He did not Imagine that he 
had given to the old world a new continent, richer, in all that the 
world prizes most, than any other portion of the globe, and from 
the discovery of which such vast results were destined to flow. On 



fl BONDURA8: ITS HISTORY, 

his deathbed he bitterly exclaimed, " I have only opened the doors 
for others to enter." It was the truth, but not in the sense that Colon 
meant — and the tribute of praise that he failed to give himself, the 
world has since given him. 



The Conquest of 

Central America by the Spanish 

Conquistadores . 

The Spanish government, on the records of Colon's voyage, soon 
occupied the Antille Islands, reducing the natives to the most brutal 
slavery, compelling them in sweat of blood and brawn to till a3 
servants the soil that had been theirs to rule and reap the pleasures 
of. Absolutely without mercy in their tasks or their treatment, the 
Spaniards actually drove their slaves to death, and to replenish 
their ranks had to visit the mainland for fresh slaves, whom they 
ruthlessly tore from their coast homes and bore away to lives of 
slavery the most terrible, only relieved by early deaths. 

Then came the conquest of Central America by Cortez and his 
captains. Mexico, that great and wealthy empire of the Aztecs, had 
fallen beneath the power and prowess of the famous Spanish com- 
mander. But, great as was the wealth he had acquired, and the fame 
as a warrior he had won, Cortez had in him a lust for fortune, and 
an Alexandrian desire to conquer that nothing could satisfy. He 
knew that south and west of him were other kingdoms, as 
rich in harvests of the surface, in deposits of mineral wealth, and in 
manufactured products, as that which lie had already won. With 
him, to desire was to seek to gain. So he organized two expeditions 
of conquests, one was sent to the south by overland route, under 
command of his best, bravest, and most successful captain, Pedro de 
AJvarado, who had already explored to the confines of Guatemala, 
and knew the treasures that lay before him. He was given a fine 
army of mail-clad warriors, invested with almost unlimited powers 
over such country as he should conquer; ami it was not long before 
he had added the whole of Guatemala and a portion of Honduras to 
the jewels of the Spanish crown. Bravely and desperately did the 
natives resist, sanguinary were the battles fought, hut save in point 



GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. J 

of numbers all the advantages were with the invaders, and ruth- 
lessly they marched on to victory. 

The remainder of Honduras soon fell beneath the march of a 
second expedition which Cortez sent along the coast. Like their 
compatriots of Guatemala, the Honduraneans fought valiantly and 
stubbornly against the advance of the foe, but without avail. The 
mail-clad warriors of Spain were invincible against such attacks as 
the natives could make, and speedily bore down all opposition, until 
they met their fellow-conquistadores from Panama, in Costa Rica, 
where the two forces bloodily fought for years for possession of the 
little State. 

Within twenty -five years from the conquest of Mexico, the Indians 
of the Central American States wore the Spanish yoke, and suffered 
the fate of the Antilleans — reduced to the most abject of servitude, 
cruel in the extreme and terrible in its results. They were forced to 
toil in the mines or till the fields from daylight to dark fur their in- 
satiable masters, who looked upon them as almost without the pale of 
humanity. Amid such hardships, under the ruthless inarch of the 
dread diseases that the invaders brought with them, as well as 
beneath the deadly cut and thrust of the warring conquistadores, 
millions of the natives perished during the three centuries of Spanish 
rule. 



The Spanish Yoke Thrown Off. 



But through all, the few gallant spirits who had escaped the con- 
quest and found refuge in the mountains, kept the fire of liberty 
burning, although faintly, until in 1810, the intrepid Mexican Priest, 
Hidalgo, fanned it into a flame that grew in power and intensity 
until it tired the hearts and nerved the arms of tin- Long-afflicted 
and justly-revengeful Indians and Creoles of Central America, and the 
Spanish yoke was thrown oil' and the Central American Republic 
was formed. It BO remained until 1838, when a combination of the 

nobles and clergy succeeded in disrupting it, and the live republics 
of Guatemala, San Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica 
were formed. Anarchy and civil wars followed— the natural results 
of a country and people being thrown into freedom after centuries 



g HONDURAS: ITS HISTORY, 

of the repression of all elevating thought. Men more advanced in 
education and ability, and with the lusts of wealth and power, 
secured and then abused the confidence of the people. 

The results of this were natural and most disastrous to the prosper- 
ity of the country. Where anarchy ruled, and the safety of life and 
property was not assured, there could be no commerce, no internal 
progress or prosperity. Outside nations neither cared for nor seldom 
sought an interchange of commodities under such conditions. It 
seemed, as one writer has expressed it, " as though a blight hung 
heavily over one of the fairest portions of God's creation." But it 
was not such. It was more like the crucibling of the nation, that it 
might be the better fitted for its future that lay before it. As the ore 
is passed through crucible or furnace, that it may be rid of its dross, 
so the people of Honduras, and its sister republics, have experienced 
a baptism of trouble, that they might better appreciate and maintain 
genuine liberty of conscience and of action. They have been regen- 
erated, and under the rule of such men as Bogran and others, the 
Central American republics are forging ahead on a prosperous 
career. 



The Geography of 
Honduras. 

The republic of Honduras, although until recent years the least 
known and mentioned of the Central American countries, might 
still be justly called the Eden of the Peninsula. It has an area of 
about 45,000 square miles. Its natural frontier-line in the north, 
about 200 miles in extent, is the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea. 
Along this coast-line, which runs from east to west, at a distance 
of only 900 miles from New Orleans, are Puerto Cortes and 
Truxillo, natural and excellent harbors. The Bay Islands, 70 miles 
north of the main (Atlantic) coast, with the Isles of Roatan, Guanaja, 
and Utila, afford good anchorage, and are important stations in the 
Central American trade with the United States and Europe. In the 
south, the Pacific Ocean bounds the territory in a shore-line of 70 
miles, with San Lorenzo as a port on the mainland, whilst the neigh- 
boring island of Tigre, in the magnificent Bay of Fonseca, with the 



GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. 9 

port of Amapala, forms an intermediate link between San Francisco 
and Panama. The distance from the shores of the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, across Honduras, is 230 miles. 

The general aspect of Honduras is mountainous, and it thus pre- 
sents itself, when viewed from the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific. 
On its south coast, a high wall seems to rise from the deep and blue 
waters of the ocean, separated from it by a small band of coast-land, 
which is of a later formation, caused by diluvial and alluvial 
deposits. These coast-lands were at one time the zone of violent 
volcanic eruptions, which have left a series of peaks and mountains, 
in variegated and picturesque forms. The volcanoes of Cosiguina 
and Conchagua, 3,800 feet in height, and the islands of Tigre and 
Sacate, all of fiery origin, proudly rise among a large number of 
small islands. They seem to have lost their former volcanic nature, 
for they are dressed in the luxurious garb of tropical vegetation. 
Their torn features, however, impress the visitor with awe when 
entering the Bay, now the scene of peaceable contest between the 
beauties of water, floral and mountain scenery, but once the arena 
of battle between the great Cordilleras, the mighty ocean, and the 
now dormant volcanic power. 

The chief mountain-range is the Cordillera Mad re, forming the 
divide between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It traverses the 
country from northwest to southeast, and from it branch the moun- 
tains of Merendon. Near Omoa, the Cordilleras reach a height of 
7,000 feet. The mountains of Selaque, in the departments of 
Intibuca and Gracias, form the main center in the elevation, 
with a height of 10,000 feet. The Cordilleras, in the valley of 
Comayagua, form two high mountain-ranges: to the north, the 
mountains of Comayagua, and to the south the Sierra de Lepa- 
terique. To the northeast of Comayagua is the Sulaco Group in 
the Department of Yoro. 

The principal rivers are found along the Atlantic slope, and drain 
the interior and the coast-lands of their abundant water-supply, 
derived from springs and regularly-occurring rains. There is no 
doubt that a number of the large streams which flow into the Atlan- 
tic will be made navigable within a few years. The principal of these 
are the Ulna (now navigable 90 miles for steamers of four feet 
draught), the Chamelicon, Aguan, Patook, and Wanks. The last- 
mentioned forms along its lower course the frontier between Nica- 
ragua and Honduras. This river though large is but little known. 



10 



WiXDURAS: ITS JflsTOEY, 



and passes through a territory principally inhabited by peaceable 
Indians (Sambos). On the Pacific slope the river Choluteca is the 
largest, and it empties into the Bay of Fonseca. 



Its Agricultural Products, 
Fruits, and Lumber, 

The huge hills and tall mountains enclose thousands of beautiful 
and fertile valleys, with an average elevation above tide of from 1,000 
to 4,000 feet, that, properly tilled and the products exported, as they 
could be abundantly, would be a vast source of prosperity to the 
country. The mountains are covered to their summits with a rich 
growth of pine and oak forests. The sides of the mountains are 
singularly fertile, producing under proper culture admirable crops 
of corn, while the valleys below can be made to groan under the 
weight of cotton, coffee, and sugar-cane. Every kind of tropical 
and semi-tropical fruit can be grown to advantage. At present the 
chief attention is given to bananas and cocoanuts. Only within ten 
years past have any considerable facilities for exportation of these 
fruits been afforded, and yet within that time, even under a crude 
and imperfect system of cultivation, the production and export have 
increased from almost nothing to large proportions. The annual 
export now is placed by a careful examiner at 2,000,000 bunches of 
bananas. This represents though only about forty to fifty per cent. 
of the production, the balance being consumed at home or lost in 
the tields. The last percentage is estimated at twenty to forty per 
cent., and is due to lack of shipping facilities. In 1S77 the first 
steamer was placed in the Honduras trade by Mr. S. Oteri, of New 
Orleans. There are now twelve steamers running between New- 
Orleans and the Honduranean ports. The difficulties attending 
shipments, in the way of handling fruit, etc., are such that it is a 
matter of astonishment that the traffic has grown to its present 
proportions, and it is only accounted for by the fact that a. minimum 
amount of labor produces so bountiful a yield on this prolific soil as 
to admit nf burdens that could not elsewhere be borne. With aline 
of railway along the coast (now projected), the fruit and other traffic 
will be greatly stimulated and pay vastly better. 

The mountain -sides are covered with a rich nutritious grass during 



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GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. ^1 

the rainy season, and when the tropic sun kills this, the heavy 
dews moisten a. species of wild Guinea grass that is very serviceable 
to cattle. And when this fails, as it does during the drouth season, 
nature has blessed the country with an infinite variety of shrubs, 
plants, and even a tree, that sustain animal life equally as well as 
grass. This tree, especially (called "horse"), is superior even to 
grass or corn as food for cattle, and has led to its protection by gov- 
ernment. 

The country to the north and east of Tegucigalpa— the capital 
city — is well watered, there being line springs in the mountain-spurs 
that flow down the mountain-sides accumulating strength and vol- 
ume as they travel until they are capable of properly irrigating 
the valleys and furnishing ample power for saw, grist, and stamp 
mills. 

The coasts abound in precious woods, such as mahogany, cedar, 
rosewood, ebony, and a variety of palm-trees, while the interior 
altitudes are covered with the timber products of our own country. 
Live-oak forests are common, the trees attaining large proportions. 
The pine forests that adorn the mountain and hill sides are of excel- 
lent quality. They are so extensive, too, and the trees so large and 
tall, that when interior communication is improved, as it soon will 
be, the lumber industry of Honduras will become very important. 

To the mining industry these pine forests are especially valuable. 
As the mines are located in the heart of the pine district, tin- 
timber for underground work is readily obtained of proper dimen- 
sions, suitable quality, and at low cost. It is free from sap and does 
not suffer from the ravages of insects, two important qualifications 
for mine use. Its convenience to the mines reduces its cost to a 
minimum. For 12 to 18 inch timber cut in pieces 10 to 15 feet long, 
the mining companies pay about 25 cents each in American cur- 
rency. 



The Climate 

In the Interior is Temperate 

and Healthy. 

The climate of Honduras is not injurious to foreigners, unless they 

arc indiscreet. As the land for a few leagues from the coast is low. 



12 



HONDURAS: ITS HISTORY, 



there is more or less fever to be found there. Traveling into the 
country, the visitor finds it gradually rising, and speedily readies 
an altitude where the soft warm breezes of the eoast-groves are tem- 
pered by the cooler and invigorating currents that come down from 
the mountain-tops. Soon he finds the rank and dense vegetation of 
the tropics below, merged into the splendid growths of the semi- 
tropics, and he is in the midst of a section where fever is rare, while 
there are also missing most pulmonary evils, diphtheria, scarlet 
fever, typhoid, etc., that so heavily afflict the people of the United 
States. It is said on good authority that "consumption" is un- 
known in the practical materia medica of Honduras, Whale rheuma- 
tism, that fell curse of Northern America, has never been felt in the 
Silver Eepublic. 

The following table, illustrating the yearly temperature of 
Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, is taken from the issue of 
the Honduras Progress of January 13, 1889, and was compiled from 
the files of that paper by its editor, Dr. Fritzgartner. 



CLIMATE OF TEGUCIGALPA. 



January.... 
February .. 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August 

September 

October 

November 



In commenting on this table Dr. Fritzgartner says : 
" Much has been written about the delightful climate of Teguci- 
galpa; but we believe there never appeared in print a complete 
talile, .such as the above, illustrating in a statistical manner the tem- 
perature of this capital, for the whole year 1888, or any previous 
year. 
"The Honduras Program in its issues lias furnished every week 



GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. 



18 



concise Weather Reports, as far as the instruments at our dis- 
posal made it possible to do so. 

" We ask our friends in Chicago and New York to look over the 
above table and compare, say our months of January and August, 
with their own meteorological tables, and they will find that the 
centers of heat are not to be found in the tropical regions of Central 
America. 

" Our coldest month is December. Its average minimum tempera- 
ture is 56° F., its average maximum 75°. The lowest temperature in 
December was 50° F., and the highest 81° F. 

" The hottest month of the year, according to our table, was that of 
May. Its minimum average was 67° F., its maximum average 84° 
F., showing a difference of 17° F. The lowest temperature in May 
amounted to 63° F., and its highest 90° F. We note by consulting 
the above table, that the difference in the tliermometrical extremes 
is the least in November, the difference between maximum and 
minimum being 13°, while the month of March in its extreme varia- 
tions shows 22°, it being the month where the greatest variation 
occurs. 

"The lowest temperature during the year was reached in the month 
of December, it amounting to 50° F., the highest temperature as 
noted during May was 90° F., thus giving us 40° F. as the extreme 
variation, while 17° F. present the average variation for the year 
around. 

" The figures, as laid before our readers, are a strong testimony of 
the uniform climate which prevails in this section, and we believe 
the time will not be far distant when Honduras, with its salu- 
brious districts, will be a home for the many invalids of the North, 
who are not strong enough to bear the extreme variation of a north- 
ern climate. 

" We are not able to add to-day to our table, concise figures about 
rainfall and moisture, but state that the atmosphere for the greater 
portion of the year is dry and well ventilated by regular breezes 
which set in towards the morning and evening. 

"It must be further stated that the extremes of the daily tem- 
perature occupy but very few minutes, tbe thermometer is rapidly 
rising towards 2. p.m., when it usually reaches its highest point, and 
gradually falls hack to the ordinary temperature of the day. The 
coldest hours ill the day are between 2 and ." a. in. 

"The altitude of Tegucigalpa, 3,200 feet may be considered the 



14 HONDURAS: ITS HISTORY, 

average altitude of Honduras, and there are many localities in the 
country which possess a similar climate. 

" There are, however, many districts in this republic which have a 
milder climate than that of Tegucigalpa, the salubrity of which is 
proverbial. Many travelers know of Central America only by its 
shore-lands, which as a rule are hot and unsalubrious, particularly for 
those who are new-comers and not acclimated. Opinions formed 
from the coast-lands, which differ from the high-lands, of which 
the interior is principally composed, is the cause of the many 
contradictory reports about the climate and salubrity of Central 
America." 



The Characteristics of 
the People. 



The population of Honduras is about 400,000 souls, chiefly native, 
though there is now a sprinkling of foreigners, especially in the 
mining districts. They are both civilized and Christianized, en- 
joying life themselves and willing to concede to others the same 
privilege. In complexion dark olive, in manners quick and alert 
when there is anything to be gained ; they are disposed to indolence 
at times, especially in the towns. The general costume for males is a 
white coat and pantaloons with a gay scarf at the waist and the univer- 
sal Panama hat — although among the merchants, professional men, 
and officials, American or European styles are usual. The women, 
where their means permit, dress in the latest of modern styles, 
never regarded as complete, however, without a handsome silk shawl 
of such color as the owner's taste dictates. It is the height of every 
Honduranean woman's ambition to own this finishing detail of her 
costume, and on state occasions, when the ladies turn out en masse 
for promenades, the display of these shawls makes a rich and pleas- 
ing kaleidoscopic picture. Courtesy and grace seem inborn to the 
Honduranean of either sex. A boorish or vulgar manner is 
an abomination to them. They pay to each other and to the 
" stranger within their gates" the utmost of respect and atten- 
tion, and they expect to receive the same themselves. It is not 
mere punctiliousness or affectation with them, but the very 



GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. ^5 

essence of their nature, noticeable in every age, sex, station, and 
rank of life. 

Their business habits are simple, yet he who assumes that they do 
not know how to trade or to drive a bargain, will be speedily unde- 
ceived. They know and appreciate the value of money and of 
products, and they generally hold their own in a transaction. 

The people of Honduras are behind the inhabitants of their sister 
republics and of other American sections, in industrial development, 
but they will not long be so. They are apt and willing learners, 
quick to perceive and appropriate that which is good, and to foster 
anything that will advance their country's growth or their own 
interests. They know their own shortcoming, and in determining 
to surmount it allow no false pride to stand in the way. Tbey are 
exceptionally well disposed toward Americans who go there to invest 
or engage in business. They have more faith in the push, grit, and 
enterprise of our people than in any other nationality. The record 
of our achievements at home is astonishing to them, and Ion Ameri- 
cano is a talisman to their good graces. Quick and intelligent, the 
Honduraneans have learned to value the blessings of peace, energy, 
and enterprise. They know that their mines are treasure-houses, 
but they have not the means to work them properly. They stand 
ready, though, to aid in the fullest degree possible. Their mine- 
laborers especially are able and willing to work. Mine-labor can 
be hired for 50 cents to $1 per day in any quantity, and skilled 
mechanics are obtainable at $1.50. Miners prefer to work by con- 
tract, and mine tunnels 4J feet at the bottom and 4 feet at the top, 6 
to 7 feet high, are driven for $5 to $12 per yard, the companies fur- 
nishing supplies and timber. 

The disposition of the Honduraneans to belp themselves as well as 
to be helped, has already had an important bearing on their present 
condition, and is destined to have still more in the near future. It has 
drawn toward Honduras the attention of foreign investors and work- 
ers, created a knowledge and interest in her natural condition and 
the practically unexplored though undoubted mineral wealth of her 
great mountain systems, replaced with work and wealth the former 
stagnation and poverty of the mining districts, ami opened up a new 
epoch in the republic's history that will speedily tear off her clothes 
of infancy, socially and commercially, and make her a recognized 
and powerful factor in the industrial and commercial circles of the 
world. Considering the incubus of three centuries of Spanish mis- 



lg HONDURAS: ITS HISTORY, 

rule and the years of native degeneracy from which she has but 
recently emerged, Honduras has not loitered much on her progress- 
ive march. 



The Government is 
a Republic, 

The government of Honduras is, as we have already said, a 
republic founded much on the same principle as that of the United 
States. It is divided into 13 States, called " Departments," each 
under the rule of a Governor. These are named as follows : Copan, 
Gracias, Santa Barbara, La Paz, Comayagua, Yoro, Colon, Olancho, 
El Paraiso, Tegucigalpa, Choluteca, Intibuca, and The Bay Islands. 
The constitution under which the country is governed is remarkable 
for its liberality, and those who framed it looked far into the future 
and with wise discernment. It guarantees to all inhabitants of 
the republic, native or foreign, inviolability of life, liberty, and 
property; recognizes fully the justice of habeas corpus; makes the 
slave traffic a penal offense and guarantees freedom to any slave 
who seeks its soil as an asylum ; forbids all privileges in law of 
class or caste, and guarantees to foreigners equal rights and 
priviliges civilly with Honduraneans — allowing them to buy, sell, 
locate, or exercise industries and professions, as well as prop- 
erty, to erect churches and establish cemeteries in any place, and 
enjoy every right of conscience, especially declaring valid their 
marriage contracts, without regard to the religious requirements 
of sect or creed ; each native must serve in the army, if required, 
from the ages of 18 to 40 years, although naturalized citizens are 
exempt from services for 10 years ; primary education is obligatory, 
wholly secular, well organized, and is free to all, the clergyman of 
every sect being debarred, however, from any direction of a school 
or college maintained by the state; navigation of the rivers of the 
republic is free to all flags. 

The government is divided into executive, legislative, and judicial 
branches. 

The executive power is vested In a President, who must be a native 
30 years of age and in possession ofall rights and privileges of citizen- 
ship. Heis elected by the populace for four years, with the privilege 



GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. 



17 



of a second term, and is again eligible for election after the lapse of 
four years from his retirement from office. He selects his own cabi- 
net, who besides being his aids in counsel are given all the privileges, 
except voting, of the legislative chamber. They are required to 
answer all questions put them by congressmen on public matters, 
except such relating to foreign relations and war as the President 
may wish kept secret. 

The legislative branch of the government consists of deputies, 
elected on the basis of one to every ten thousand inhabitants. They 
meet as one body and may transact business provided a quorum be 
present, which must be three fourths of the membership. All ques- 
tions are decided by a simple majority vote. No member of con- 
gress can at any time be called to account for anything written or 
said by him in the course of duty. 



President Luis Bogran. 

This constitution was promulgated Dec. 1, 1880, and the most 
earnest endeavors have been made by the executive and the govern- 
ors of departments to carry out its provisions, and with very grati- 
fying success. Especially has this been the case under the adminis- 
tration of the present chief magistrate, Don Luis Bogran, who 
might well be called the ( 'ineinnatus or Washington of his country. 
Born of agricultural parentage on the the 3d of June, 1S4>», in the 
midst of those revolutions which were then the bane of his country, 
his early life was such as to instill into his mind correct principles of 
character; while he drank in with the fresh country air the love of 
freedom and of country that has made him famous in its annals. 
As soon as he had attained age enough — and men develop there rap- 
idly — he espoused the cause of progress and humanity as against 
that of caste and retrogression. His career as a soldier was like a 
romance, remarkable for the rapidity with which he worthily carved 
his way with the sword to the front rank of those who commanded 
the victorious armies of Honduras. Among thciu were several of 
noted Ability, unflinching courage, honest, and incorruptible. But 
among them all n< were mure patriotic, achieved more brilliant 

success, or displayed equal practical capacity in the service of bis 
country than General Bogran. When the peace of his country had 



18 



HONDURAS: ITS HISTORY, 



been assured he laid aside the sword of the warrior and returned to 
agricultural pursuits, applying himself at the same time with all his 
vigor of intellect and unwearied perseverance to educating his 
countrymen and its rulers to the necessity of instructing its rising 
generation in industry, commerce, and other fields of human advance- 
ment, building roads, introducing machinery, and fostering the 
investment of foreign capital in the mines of the republic. In every- 
thing that he has undertaken he has been singularly fortunate. 
Gifted with an excellent understanding, and a strong desire to serve 
his country for his country's good, there is nothing calculated to 
advance her interests that he is not keen to discern and prompt to 
seize or promote. A little more than five years ago he was called 
from a cabinet office to the presidency by the unanimous vote of 
his countrymen, and when his term of office had expired was 
re-elected by a majority of ninety per cent, of the popular vote — a 
faci that speaks loudly for the success of his progressive administra- 
tion and the live spirit that he has aroused in his countrymen. He 
is to-day the central figure of modern Honduras — the man to whom, 
above all others, she owes the advanced position she occupies and 
her great possibilities for the future. 



Government 

Encouragement of Foreign Capital 

Seeking Investment 

Under his guidance the government, as well as the people, has 
been exceedingly favorable to foreigners who manifest an inclination 
to develop the mineral wealth of the land. They realize that the 
working of these mines means prosperity for the people, commercial 
importance for the country, and increased revenues for the govern- 
ment. As a means of fostering these desired results, the mining 
laws have been modified and amended. It is compulsory on all 
male citizens to give a certain amount of military service to the 
State. This law, if strictly adhered to, would be harmful to the 
mining industries as regards the employment of native labor, render- 
ing their service unstable. In a wise spirit the government has 
exempted the mining population from such service wherever they 
show that they are under contract to work in orat the mines. These 



GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. 1Q 

contracts are called " matriculations," and are for periods of six 
months or more. They have no odious features about them, being 
made directly with the workman and not with labor contractors of 
the speculative character. 

The government has also repealed that section of the law which 
formerly prohibited foreigners from acquiring and working either 
an abandoned or a newly-discovered mine, and in other ways has so 
altered its mining laws, as to encourage legitimate foreign enterprise 
in coming there. A very important amendment is that permitting 
the introduction free of duty of all machinery and supplies, as also 
the exportation of bullion by the foreign companies. All that 
the government asks of foreign capitalists is, that they shall 
come there with a bona fide purpose to work the mines; that 
fact once established, the hearty co-operation of the government 
is assured. 



Building Roads 

to Facilitate the Transportation 

of Machinery, &c. 

As an instance of the determined and business-like spirit with 
which President Bogran has taken hold of the development of the 
mining interests of his country, may be cited his building of the new 
cart-road from the coast to Yuscaran. The great drawback to the 
progress and prosperity of Honduras, has been the lack of means of 
transportation between the ports and the interior. The principal 
roads heretofore have been mere bridle-paths, over which the imports 
and exports were carried on muleback to and fro at great expense. 
It has cost $200 a ton to transport freight from Puerto Cortez, to 
Tegucigalpa, a distance of 200 miles. The transportation of heavy 
machinery was almost impossible. By the building of the new 
road referred to, which is 125 miles in length, the heavy parts of 
machinery are now moved with comparative ease in the dry season . 
The native carts are of the crudest sort, being mounted on wheels 
cut. from trunks of trees according to the size desired. The work 
done with them is of course slow and laborious, and they need to It 



20 HONDURAS: ITS HISTORY, 

supplanted as rapidly as possible with modern and more serviceable 
conveyances. 

In addition to the road mentioned, President Bogran is also con- 
structing one from Tegucigalpa to the north coast, having already 
completed it beyond Comayagua. The mining companies have also 
built shorter roads about their mines, so that travel there is much 
more convenient than in years past. 



The Proposed Railroad 

from the Atlantic to the Pacific 

Coast. 

But in another way President Bogran is seeking to foster alike the 
commercial and industrial well-being of his country. Some years ago 
an English company undertook to construct an inter-oceanic railroad 
between Puerto Cortez on the Caribbean coast and Amapala or San 
Lorenzo on the Pacific coast. The company was styled the " Inter- 
oceanic Railroad of Honduras." The proposed road was surveyed 
and profiles made. The route was 231 miles in length, of which the 
original company graded seventy-five miles and ironed about fifty, 
when the project was abandoned. It was not dropped, however, 
\mtil $27,000,000 worth of bonds, guaranteed by the republic, had 
been floated on the European markets and the proceeds absorbed by 
those who thus swindled innocent purchasers, as well as saddled the 
republic with a fraudulent debt. The interest of the bonds not being 
paid, Honduras was placarded unjustly as bankrupt in all the finan- 
cial marts of the world. This was a serious setback to the progress 
of the republic, keeping capital away and so delaying all social and 
industrial advancement. 

When President Bogran became Chief-Executive he determined to 
relieve his country from this unjust burden, even though it called 
for the most desperate measures. He proposed to grant the old com- 
pany additional concessions if they would complete the road, or as 
an alternative to repudiate the debt, which is the very essence of 
fraud, in that no consideration was received. The road that is in 
part built, never has been serviceable, and $500,000 a mile was 
charged, when $25,000 would have built a better road. 



GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. 0\ 

As a result of this ultimatum, a syndicate was formed in London 
to complete the road, and take up and cancel the old bonds, if Hon- 
duras would cede them a land grant, in sections seven and a half 
miles square on each side of the projected road. This proposition 
was made in February, 1888, and accepted in March by President 
Bogran and his ministers, with the endorsement of Congress. Then 
the syndicate went to work to secure the consent of the holders of the 
old bonds to exchange them for the shares of the new company, and 
as a next step, petitioned the court to dissolve the titles and statutes 
of the old company, which was necessary under English law, before 
a new company could take hold of the line. Justice Chitty, of Lon- 
don, performed the act of dissolution on June 4, 1888. The new 
company sent Hamilton Lee Smith, of London, an eminent rail- 
road engineer, to examine and report on the proposed route. He 
arrived there in September last, and after a preliminary survey, 
reported favorably on it, finding it even more feasible than he had 
looked for. It is now expected that the road will be completed, and 
when it is, a vast step forward will be taken by the republic. A part 
from its advantages in shortening distance in a voyage from the 
eastern to the western shores of the United States, to Australia, and 
Asia, the local traffic that the road will create in addition to what 
now exists in mining machinery and supplies, bullion, merchan- 
dise, fruit, and lumber, will alone justify its building. The through 
freight from ocean to ocean will net handsome profits to share- 
holders. 

The new road will materially reduce the time consumed in travel- 
ing to the mining districts of Honduras. Tegucigalpa is only about 
as far from Philadelphia as is Ogden, Utah. The shortest route at 
present is by railway to New Orleans, thence to Port Cortez, Hon- 
duras, by steamer, requiring six days owing to stops at other ports ; 
next to San Pedro by rail thirty-seven miles, that consumes one day; 
from whence you travel 200 miles by mule-trail to the capital, con- 
suming ten days on the journey. About twenty days are now con- 
sumed on the entire trip, whereas the inter-oceanic railway will 
reduce the time of travel between Port Cortez and Tegucigalpa to 
one day, and for the whole trip to about ten days. The hot ami 
quickest route now is by Pacific Mail steamship from New York via 
the Isthmus of Panama to Amapala, on the west coast of Honduras, 
then 60 miles by steamer across the Bay of Fonseea to Pendriga] on 
the mainland of Honduras, and 27 miles more over a nearly level 



22 HONDVBAS: ITS HISTORY, 

road to San Juan, the location of the mines of the Dos Hermanos 
Mining and Milling Company ; or from San Francisco to Amapala 
by steamer. The cost of the trip is about $160. 



The City of Tegucigalpa , 

which in the Indian Language Means 

"City of Silver." 

The city of Tegucigalpa is situated on the Choluteca River, sixty 
miles in an air-line from the Pacific coast, and contains about 12,000 
inhabitants. It was properly called the " City of Silver," since in 
its churches and other buildings it furnishes abundant and irre- 
futable evidence of the wealth and aristocratic tastes of those who 
peopled it, living and ruling on the wealth torn from its surround- 
ing hills. With its mixture of old and odd buildings and more 
modern styles of architecture, it is a picturesque and attractive 
place. Its history stretches far back into the early times of explora- 
tion and adventure, and it only needs the perception and imagina- 
tion of a Cable to unearth stories of romance or fill out charming 
scenes with the life of another age. The buildings are chiefly one- 
story structures, built of adobes, surrounding gardens, and suggest- 
ing in most instances a delightful ease and roominess, an adaptation 
to climatic conditions, and a delightful retrospect. They are 
frequently painted a pink, blue, yellow, green, or some other pro- 
nounced color. The streets are well paved. It has a large cathedral 
(a legacy of the past) and several churches and municipal buildings. 
It has several newspapers ; one, the Honduras Progress, is published 
in English; two banks established in the past year; a uniformed 
police force, a public garden, a public hospital, and several hotels. 
The National College is also located there, which promises to be a 
potent factor for good in fitting the youth of the country for the 
important work of the future. There is also a system of telegraph 
lines connecting the capital with all the smaller towns of the country. 
While the city is not now what it once was, its people are yet meas- 
urably prosperous and quite alive to the opportunities that lie before 
them. They are in the highest degree friendly to foreigners who ^ r <> 
there to invest in mining, as they consider that through them they 
can best and quickest regain the prosperity and importance of the 



GOVERNMENT, AND PHYSICAL FEATURES. £3 

past. For Tegucigalpa was, a century ago, a very active business cen- 
ter, and wielded a powerful influence in provincial affairs. The 
crown inspector of mines had his headquarters there, receiving the 
government's one-fifth of all mine products, exchanging the bullion 
into coin, so that the mine operators could pay for supplies and labor, 
selling the salt and quicksilver (a government monopoly) for the 
reduction of ores, and making the details of Indian laborers, or 
peons, for the mines. Massive fortunes were made there up to 1821 
(the year of the overthrow of Spanish rule), and the city was a rich 
capital. As a result of the revolution, the Spaniards whose tyranny 
had been so odious were obliged to flee from the country. Unfortu- 
nately for the mining industry, they were the directing and moving 
forces that made the mines yield their revenues. Under native 
management this industry retrograded, and with it the city also. 
Under the beneficial influence of American immigration thither, 
and the re-opening of the mines with American capital and the 
improved machinery it provides, the city and its people are improv- 
ing in every respect, and promise to become once more of great 
importance. 



The Safety and Security of 
Life and Property Beyond Question. 

In these facts, and in the constitutional guarantees given, lie the 
safety and security of life and property there, be it foreign or 
native. The Honduranean has had enough of the waywardness and 
instability of the past, the rule of might and adventure as against 
right and law. The bitter lessons of the past have sunk deeply 
and beneficially into his perception. By his votes and those of the 
men whom he has chosen to guide and govern him, he has set the 
stamp of his approval on peace and prosperity as synonymous 
results to be gained, on business and industrial progress to be 
worked for and maintained by legitimate methods. Aware of his 
own lack of knowledge and experience as to improved methods of 
mining and of the means to provide the expensive yet necessary 
modern machinery, he has invited and still encourages foreign 
intelligence, enterprise, and capital to come there, and guarantees to 



24 HONDURAS: ITS MINES 

those who furnish it the most positive security. That the guarantee 
is being made good is the testimony of all who have invested in 
Honduras mines, as well as of all the consular and diplomatic 
authorities. 



The Mining Laws, and the 

Modifications Made to Encourage the 

Mining Industry. 

Mining property, where not already occupied, is secured by 
" denouncing " or pre-empting it. When denounced, it becomes 
the actual property of the denouncer, only coupled with the condi- 
tion that within a certain time he shall drive a tunnel five yards 
and sink a shaft five yards on the vein. Failing to do this, the claim 
reverts to the government, which makes no other intervention. 
Under Spanish rule, one-fifth of the gross products had to be paid 
to the government, but the achievement of independence ended that 
tax, and likewise freed the mines from all others. 

For the information of those wishing greater knowledge on Hon- 
duras mining laws, the following amendments to the code are given 
in full : 

decree supplementary to the code of mining laws granting 
special immunities to mining interests. 

Office of Secretary of State, Department of Public Works, &c. 
Tegucigalpa, Nov. 18, 1882. 

Whereas, the mining interests are daily acquiring greater importance, and 
whereas, it becomes necessary for it, in order that it may attain all the devel- 
opment and perfection of which it is capable ; therefore, the President de- 
crees : 

article i. 

Honduraneans or foreigners who, associated together as private individ- 
uals, engage in the bona fide working of mines which have first been duly 
enrolled, shall enjoy the following concessions: 

1. To export, free of duty, the silver, gold, and copper which they also 
produce. 

2 To introduce free of duty, and every kind of imposts, machinery fc »r raising 
weights, stamping and grinding ores, for extracting the metals therefrom, 
for working iron and steel, and sawing wood, etc., whether the said machin- 



OF GOLD AND SILVER. 



25 



ery be moved by steam or water, pumps to extract water, shovels, hammers, 
plantation knives, axes, drills, wedges, grindstones, machinists' tools, in- 
cluding forges, anvils, etc., powder of all kinds, exploders and fuse to produce 
the explosion, oils for illuminating and lubricating purposes, materials in 
bulk, such as steel for augers, iron in plates or bars or cast, or in the form of 
hoops, nails, spikes, screws, tubes of iron, bronze, copper, lead, gutta percha, 
etc., locks, hinges, ropes made of steel, iron, hemp, or other material, plates of 
pure or sheet, copper, silver and copper in bars for smelting, bronze, tin, 
lead, quicksilver, or any other metal necessary to carry out the work, dia- 
monds in bulk, or with teeth, diamond drills if needed to drill rock, shl the 
material used in the assaying of ores, such as crucibles, smelting-furnaces, 
chemical ingredients for mixing and analysis, or to be employed in the mill- 
ing of ores, or to extract therefrom the gold, silver, or copper they may con- 
tain ; the said ingredients may be acids, sulphur, metallic salts, etc., glass 
apparatus for chemical operations, stearine or sperm candles, and tents of 
cloth. 

3. The right to use the woods and waters extant in public or vacant lands, 
without other restriction than such regulations of Government or, with its 
approval, the respective municipalities may issue concerning the same. 

4. The operatives in mines and mills shall be free from military duty dur- 
ing the time they remain thus employed, but they must engage to serve for 
at least six months, to which end the managers shall register with the respec- 
tive Departmental Commanders the number of operatives which they may 
need. 

article n. 
The articles specified in Art. 1 must be ordered directly from abroad by the 
owners of the mines, or the superintendents representing them, and they 
must send a copy of the said order to the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretaria 
de Haciendia). These articles shall be brought directly from the ports to the 
establishment of the mines to whom they belong, and the waybill for the 
transit of the same shall be extended by the Administrator of Customs, and 
returned by the Alcalde of the municipality in whose jurisdiction the estab- 
lishments are situated. 

ARTICLE III. 

The managers of the mines are obliged to construct a safe place for storage 
of powder and other explosives. Such storage-places will not be permitted 
within the precincts of human settlement. 

ARTICLE IV. 

The managers of mines shall not be permitted to sell the powder or other 
dutiable articles which they have introduced free under these concessions, 
during the time they carry on their operations. The party who violates 
this rule shall be brought to justice as a smuggler, losing in addition the 
right to avail himself of the privileges of this decree ; but the enrolled miners, 
located in the same mining district, may in case of urgent necessity make 



26 



HONDURAS: ITS MINES 



loans and sales among themselves of such articles as they may require to con- 
tinue their operations, by first proving the fact before the respective justices 
of the peace. * * * * 

article v. 
This law cannot be altered for a period of ten years, and in consequence 
the privileges it confers shall be considered as in force for that entire period. 
Be it published and registered. Signed by the President. Gutierrez. 

It will be seen that while the Government rigidly protects itself 
against imposition on its liberality, the latter is unquestionable, 
and gives most extraordinary advantages for the prosecution of 
work at the mines. 



Splended Opportunities 
for Investment. 

Honduras, in its vast deposits of gold and silver, offers to men of 
means and enterprise in this country an inexhaustible source of 
wealth and prosperity. That its benefits have not been earlier 
reaped is because we have been grossly ignorant of the country and 
its metallic wealth. Had we been better informed, its precious 
metals had not so long been hidden and useless treasure. 



The Ancient Mining -Works. 

The chief industry of the country has always been mining, and 
the hopes and expectations of her people as to future growth and 
prosperity, are centered in the re-development of her mines. Of the 
past history of these mines the most remarkable stories are told. 
The traditions of the country seem to be altogether about its mines, 
and to relate them all would require volumes. The country, how- 
ever, is wonderfully rich in gold and silver, and in every one of its 
thirteen departments there are to be seen remains of extensive old 
mining-works, and there is also much territory unprospected, since 
the wash and soil in the valleys are so deep that it is both difficult 
and expensive to reach the country rock. The minerals, or mining 
districts, which are held in highest esteem because of the traditions 



OF GOLD AND SILVER. 



27 



and history obtained from the records as to their past production 
of the precious metals, are those of the departments of Choluteca, 
Olancho, Yoro, and Santa Barbara for gold, and those of the depart- 
ments of Tegucigalpa, Paraiso, and Gracias for silver. 



The Great Output 
of Gold and Silver in the Past. 



Of one gold-mine in the department of Choluteca, El Corpus, 
Juarros writes : " p]l Corpus was the richest mine in the kingdom. 
It produced gold in so great a quantity as to excite a suspicion as to 
the reality of the metal, and a treasurer was established on the spot 
for the sake of receiving the King's Fifth." 

It has been ascertained from the official records in the archives 
at Tegucigalpa, that one hundred years ago there were thirty mines 
within a mile and a half of the town of Guscaran, which had been 




THE ARRASTRA. 



extensively worked, and there were sixty arrastras driven by water- 
power in operation grinding ore. 

Tegucigalpa, the department of Honduras richest in silver depos- 
its, formerly contained within its limits ten minerals, each having a 



28 HONDURAS: ITS MINES 

cluster or group of mines, all of which have been extensively worked, 
and some of which are now being worked. Good ores yield from 
$50.00 to $80.00 per ton, and rich ores more. The Mina Grande of 
Santa Lucia, in this department, yielded to the Rosas family, prior to 
their driving out by the revolution of 1821, over a million dollars 
under the crude methods employed. The best reduction-works of 
that time employed the arrastra for crushing the ores ; consisting of 
two irregular stones, dragged around in a circular stone trough by 
water-power, or mules, or oxen pulling at a long beam. The crush- 
ing of a ton a day was good work for such a machine. A good modern 
American mill would do fifty times the work in the same time. 
Under native management they lost a large percentage of the silver, 
and could not work many kinds of ore at all. The ore was broken 
ready for the arrastras with a hand-hammer, and a hundred men 
could not supply an American quartz-mill. The tanateros, who 
brought the ore out of the mine in 125-pound sacks, climbing up 
escaleras or rude ladders, did their work well ; but the same labor is 
much better and more economically done by steam-engines, such as 
modern foreign management introduces. 

Yet, despite the slow and primitive methods in use, over two mil- 
lions were netted previous to the Revolution from the San Martin 
mine of Santa Lucia alone, corresponding with more than thirty 
thousand tons of good ore, allowing the usual losses, from a mine 
only 150 feet in depth, which must have been carried up on the 
backs of the laborers. If power were applied the yield of such a 
mine would be very great. During four months of President Fer- 
rara's administration, the Guayabillas mine at Yuscaran yielded 
$500,000 in robbing the pillars. In 1805, one of the owners of the 
San Mariena mine built a church in San Antonio, department of 
Tegucigalpa, and at the feast of dedication threw away thousands 
in pieces of silver among the crowd. In 1816, the mine that yielded 
such enormous wealth was abandoned. 



The "Wonderful Mineral Wealth 
of Honduras. 



There is practically no limit to the mineral riches of Honduras. 

As early as 182G the director of the mint of Guatemala reported to 



OF GOLD AND SILrEK. £9 

the authorities that on the plateau of Honduras alone over 2,000 
veins of silver and gold had been discovered. Later explorations 
have proved that he under-stated than over-stated the real number 
of veins to be found there. And these are mainly fissure-veins. 
These fissures run from the center to the surface of the earth, and 
are explainable by the theories of volcanic action, or the contraction 
of the crust of the earth. Whether the precious metals arose in 
vapor, condensing upon the walls of the fissures, or were leached 
from the underlying or adjoining strata by water at a high tem- 
perature, and then deposited in the fissures, it is not in the province 
of the writer to say. But of one thing there is a certainty, that 
the causes, be they what they may have been, pervaded a wide 
extent of territory and were deep-seated in the earth. The silver- 
mines of Honduras, as elsewhere, where fissure-veins exist, never 
give out; they vary in width, but are indefinitely continued. Their 
supply is inexhaustible. The records of the mines of Spanish 
America prove this statement. It is also true that whenever the 
ancient miners have abandoned a mine because lacking the required 
pumping or ventilating machinery, or because the ore was refrac- 
tory, the men or company that have followed have garnered vast 
fortunes by the application and use of that machinery. 



The Bonanzas of 
Spanish - American Mines. 



One of the most remarkable instances of this fact is furnished in 
the history of the Biscaina lode in the Real del Monte district of 
Mexico. Up to 1726 two mines on this lode had yielded :M,341,600, 
being then abandoned at a depth of 360 feet because of water. 
Thirty-six years later Pedro Tereros tunneled the lode at a lower 
level, and' in twelve years realized $6,000,000. Again abandoned 
in 1783 because of the increased expense due to water, they were 
reopened in 1794 and $7,000,000 taken out in as many years. The 
Real del Monte district was first discovered in 1624, and hat 
yielded $191,238,448, or over half a million dollars annually 
during three and a half centuries. The district of Zacatecas 



30 



HONDURAS: ITS MINES 



has been worked since 1531, yet to-day is producing §5,000,000 
per annum, and employing over 40,000 workmen under twenty 
companies. 

The district of Guanajuato, Mexico, is even more remarkable in its 
record of results. Its discovery dates back to 1558, a life of 330 years, 
for every one of which it has averaged a yield of 3A millions of 
dollars. The Yalenciana mine alone during twelve years (from 
1768, when its owner at a depth of 250 feet struck rich ore) yielded 
$1,500,000 annually, and made its proprietor a veritable money-king. 
Although the lack of proper machinery caused a considerable fall- 
ing off in the district's production for some years, it has now been 
provided by American capitalists and the yield is again at its old 
grand figures. 

Stupendous fortunes were mined out of the Catorce district during 
its one hundred years of productive life, its discovery being made in 
1772. The ease with which money was made and spent reads like 
a fairy-tale. It is told that one man spent §36,000 in honor of a god- 
child, while ordinary laborers lost their thousands in sport with as 
much complaisance as some of our men to-day lose their single 
dollars. Padre Flores, a priest, bought a claim in 1778 for $700, and 
at a depth of 120 feet he made in two years $3,500,000, although his 
miners were paid, under contract, from one-third to one-half of all 
they produced. The Conception mine, which from 1798 to 1818 was 
in bonanza, was then abandoned because of water troubles, but 
with the introduction of proper pumping machinery it is now pay- 
ing §500,000 a month. 



Deposits of the Precious Metals 
and Fissure Veins. 

As producers of the precious metals, the Mexican mines have 
been simply marvelous. Dahlgren puts the figures for the period of 
365 years past, at >.;, 770,000,000, or an average of over §10,000,000 
annually. The annual yield to-day, however, is far greater than 
that. It was n. it over $15,000,000 until 1780, when government aid in 
development work ran it up to $27,500,000 annually. The revolu- 
tionary period gave it a Betback d>r years, hut it is now under the 



OF GOLD AND SILVEB. 



31 



impetus of improved machinery and wise American management, 
panning out §30,000,000 annually. With the wonderful feet estab- 
lished, that after three and a half centuries of continuous working, 
the production of these mines is still increasing, who can doubt the 
permanence of the deposits of the 
precious metals and the conti- 
nuity of true fissure veins. 

What is true of Mexico is equally 
true of the Honduranean deposits. 
It only requires the application 
of the same methods of _ 




mining to demonstrate the 
fact. What the native work- 
men accomplished, working 
under the crudest forms, is 
positive proof that these de- 
posits are rich, 
and offer an 




inviting field to the 
skilled, experienced. 
and gritty American 
prospector ami min- 
er. The vast fortunes 
made in Honduras 
mines were dug out 
at a depth of not over 
700 feet, and as a rule 
of not more than 250 
feet, That they were 
able to sink so far 
under their system of 
working, and make it 
pay, was only because 
of the exceeding rich- 
ness of their mines. 
The rainfall is over 
Kit) inches per annum, 
and water was a- 
much a drawback to 
mining there as it is 
here, yet ill. \ | 
vered against obsta- 
cles which our miners 
never light without 

machinery, Without 
government aid. with 
practically no roads to 



32 



HONDURAS: ITS MINES 



to travel on, and receive supplies, with no machinery to prosecute 
work, it is not to be won. lend at that the Honduranians were 
compelled to abandon their work in good ore, because of natural 
barriers and hindrances they could not surmount. 



W hy the Mines were Abandoned. 

The mines of Honduras were abandoned for either one or the 
other of the following reasons : 

The quantity of water became too large to be lifted without machin- 
ery, or the ventilation became bo poor as to prevent further exten- 
sion of the work, or as depth was obtained the ore became too refrac- 
tory to be economically treated, with the reduction appliances and 
knowledge of metallurgy at the command of the old workers. All 
these difficulties are readily overcome by the improvements in 
mining machinery and metallurgy made in the United States since 
the discovery of gold In California, and of silver in Nevada. The 
field is a most inviting one for successful work. It calls for only 
light machinery and comparatively small capital to reopen the rich 
lodes where the natives have abandoned them. There is coin for 
the world in Honduras ; many mines known to be rich and which 
have already yielded great sums with but little labor; veins, as yet 
unopened, intersecting the mountains from base to summit, many 
requiring but a small outlay to make them productive. They offer 
great riches to investors of the United States, and the foreign min- 
ing companies already operating there, when they have been ably 
managed and have had sufficient capital, have been uniformly suc- 



Foreign Mining Companies Already 
Operating There. 

The following are some of the foreign mining companies now 
operating in Honduras : , 

The New York and Honduras Rosario Mining Company, district 
of San Juancito. 



OF GOLD AND SILVER. „o 

The Santa Lucia .Mining and Milling Company, district of Santa 
Lucia. 

The Zurcher and Streber Mining and Milling Company, district of 
luscaran. 
The Guayabillas Mining Company, district of Yuscaran. 
The Concordia Gold-Mining Company, department of Olancho 
The San Rafael Mining and Milling Company, district of Gober- 
nador. 

. The Cortland and Honduras Mining Association, district of Na- 
coamme. 

The Honduras Gold Placer Mining Company, department of 
Olancho. 

The Guayape Placer Mining Company, department of Olancho 

The Comayagua Mining Company, district of Comayagua. 

The Los Angeloa Mining and Smelting Company, district Valley 
of the Angels. J 

The San Marcos Mining and Milling Company, district of Sabana- 
grande. 
The Monserratt Mining Company, district of Yuscaran. 
The AVermuth Mining Company, district of Minas De Oro 
The Dakota Mining Company, district of Minas De Oro. 
The A. Y. Gold Ledge Company, department of Olancho. 
The San Bartolo Mining Company, district of San Bartolo 
The Potosi Mining and Reduction Company, district of Potosi 
The Guasucaran California Mining and Milling Company dis- 
trict of Guasucaran. 
The New Orleans and Curaren Mining Works, district of Curaren 
The Central American (Paraiso) Reduction Company of Yusca- 



ran. 



The Honduras Mining Syndicate, department of Tegucigalpa 
The Central American Syndicate Company, departments of Tegu- 
cigalpa, Paraiso and Choluteca. 
The Yuscaran Mining Company, district of Yuscaran 
The Victoria Mining and Milling Company, district of Santa Lucia, 
-the Zelayia Mining Company, district of Guadalupe 

Sant e BaTbara CrUZ "^ "* ""** ^^ **■*»«* « 

The Camalote Mining Company, department of Santa Barbara. 

-Uie Olancho Syndicate, department of Olancho. 

The Honduras Mining Syndicate, although included in this list is 



u 



HONDURAS I ITS MIXES 



not a foreign mining corporation. It is composed of native mine 
operators and capitalists, and was chartered by the Honduranean 
Government last year. Its officers include some of the leading citi- 
zens of the country, and are as follows : President, Don Santos Soto ; 
Vice-President, General Don L. Letona; Directors, Don Simeon 
Martinez, Don Cesar Bonilla, Don Jesus Estrada, Don Samuel 
Laines; Treasurer, Don Julio Lozano : Assistant Treasurer, Don 
Octavio Ugarte ; Commissioners, Don Abelardo Zelaya, Don Camilo 
T. Duron ; Secretary, J. A. Lopez. 

The organization of this corporation, whose objects are to locate, 
develop, and work mines and mineral deposits, shows that the 
Honduraneans are quick to learn from observation of foreign 




"tJNTlt LATELY THE 

ONLY MEANS OF 
TRANSPORTATION 



methods, and that they propose to take part and share in the 
profits of the extraordinary development now in progress in their 
country. 

The first of these companies, which was the first foreign mining 
company in the country, the New York and Honduras Rosario 
Mining Company, commenced operations in 1880. Its first ship- 
ments of bullion were made in 1884. Its production in lssT was 
over $650,000, and in 1888 produced and shipped to the United States 
373 tons of silver bullion. 



OF GOLD ASD SILVER. 35 

A number of the companies in the above list have their mines 
developed, and have mills in operation. The Santa Lucia Mining 
and Milling Company have opened three of the veins on their prop- 
erty which were worked by the Spaniards. In these cases the old 
work was not down 200 feet. The Spanish workings served to show 
where the ore-shutes were situated in the veins, and now that these 
are opened below the old work and found in pay ore. the prospects 
of the company are most brilliant. 



Great Profits may be Made in 
Working Low-Grade Ores. 

Some of the finest opportunities for making money in Honduras 
are to be found in the veins and deposits of low-grade ores discov- 
ered, but not worked, by the Spaniards because their value per ton 
was too small to afford a profit with their methods of mining and 
expensive systems of treatment. The practice was also to leave the 
low-grade ore undisturbed in the mines, because it would not pay 
to remove it. Dr. R. Fritzgartner, Government Geologist and 
editor of the Honduras Progress, says in a recent issue of his publi- 
cation, with regard to this subject: 

" Of the many old Spanish workings which we to-day encounter 
nearly in every hill in this country, only those containing high- 
grade ore were continued to be worked to some depth. Often, we 
notice that only the rich ore-streak of a vein was gouged, and vein 
matter, which we to-day would consider as well-paying mineral, left 
untouched. And even now, our prospectors pay nearly exclusively 
their attention to lodes of high-grade ore, in preference to low-grade 
mineral bodies of larger dimensions that eventually will prove to be 
safer and more profitable fields of investment. 

" The new improved mining machinery, as manufactured in the 
United States, has revolutionized our methods of mining and reduc- 
tion. 

In Honduras, in nearly every one of its mining camps, there are 
veins of silver and principally of gold from five to twenty-live feet 
wide, that run from $8 to $16 per ton which have been allowed to 
lie idle, because of prospectors' dislike to locate low-grade on- To 
show how profitably low-grade ores may be worked is shown in the 



36 HONDURAS: ITS MIXES 

San Francisco Mining and Scientific Press, in the following para- 
graph : 

When Gold ore can be mined in < alifornia for 37* cents a ton, and 
milled for 23 cents per ton, it is getting the business down to a very 
fine point, and augurs well for the future of California quartz min- 
ing. And this has just been accomplished, not with a small test run 
of 20 or 30 tons of ore, but with nearly . v >,ooo tons. 

It will astonish many persons 66 learn that on worth only $116 
per ton can be moved and worked without loss, and still more sur- 
prise them to know that ore of that value is paying about 56 cents 
per ton profit. 

This record was made last month at the Spanish mine, Washing- 
ton Township, Nevada County. The mine is being worked under 
lease by F. W. Bradley. It has been in difficulty, and now the 
lessee must make a monthly statement, under oath, to the different 
creditors, to whom certain portions of monthly profits go. The 
sworn statement tot last month shows the following figures: 



mini:. 

I! n ii — !! ihn/s inoi-k pi-mi uci'il !7'.tll fon.< of mr. 

COST OF PKOUUITION. LABOR. 8UPPME8 TOTAL. 

Extracting ore t 4*0.59 I 85.78 

Dead work 287.30 43.00 28080 

Delivering ore to mill 120.00 10.70 136.70 

General excuses 58.22 3.30 61.52 

Totals I 908.11 S 143.73 $ 1,050.84 

Cost per ton 32.4 e. 5.4c. Ziy 2 c. 

MILL. 

Urn — to days' work reduced W96 tout afore. 

<OST OK REDUCTION. LABOR. Sl'l'IMIES. TOTAL. 

Mill expenses ? 103.45 8 143.10 8 300.45 

Wuterfor |>o\ver 152.20 152.20 

Handling ore 121.50 2.96 124.46 

General expenses 58.18 8.30 01.53 

Totals $ 343 18 8 301.50 8 644.74 

Cost per ton 12.3 c. 10.7 c. 23c. 

Bullion produced 

Total expenses \fi'X,.nn 

Profit 8 1,572.21 



OF GOLD AND SILVER. 



37 



" ' These figures speak for themselves. The ore yields a little over 
$1.16 per ton. The profit is 55 cents per ton, or about 48 per cent, of 
the total. The milling plant consists of four Huntington mills, 
three of them five feet and one four feet wide. After crushing, the 
pulp passes over silver-plated amalgamating plates, though most of 
the gold is saved in the mills themselves. The deposit of ore is 
large and easily worked. There is no hoisting or pumping done. 
It is quarried out of the side of a hill and run by means of cars to 
the mills. The deposit is large and the ore is quartz and slate 
mixed, the vein being about 100 feet wide. No concentrating is 
carried on. The facilities for mining are exceptionally good, or no 
such record could be made. The company have to pay for water- 
power for their mills.' " 



Department of Choluteca. 

The property of The Dos Hermanos Mining and Milling Company 
is located at San Juan, in the mining district of Corpus, Department 
of Choluteca. The mines of the company are 27 miles (24 miles 
being an excellent cart-road in the wet as well as the dry season, on 
an almost level plain) from ports on the Choluteca River and Bay 
of Ponseca, at which supplies are received and bullion, concentrates, 
or ores may be shipped by steam craft of light draught via Amapala 
to all parts of the world. The distance from San Juan to the pro- 
posed route of the Nicaragua Canal does not exceed 60 miles, and on 
the completion of the canal the journey from New York to the 
mines of the company will consume less than one week. 

The Department of Choluteca is bounded by the Departments of 
Tegucigalpa, Paraiso, and La Paz on the north, Nicaragua on the 
south and east, the Pacific ocean cm the south and west, and San 
Salvador on the northwest. The Lepaterique Mountains and their 
spurs divide this Department from Tegucigalpa, Paraiso, and Nicara- 
gua. It is very fertile and adapted to agricultural and cattle-breed- 
ing purposes. It is watered by the Choluteca, Qoascoran, and 
Nacaome rivers and their tributaries. The population is aboul 
12,000. The government consists of a Governor, an Officer of the 
Exchequer, a Controller, a Chief Judge, and a Commandante. 
These are considered Departmental officials depending directly on 



Sg) H05DCKAS: ITS JOVBE 

the National Government. Besides, the Department is divided into 
seven districts, each governed by an Alcalde, several Regidors, a 
Syndic, and two Justices of the Peace for the administration of civil 
and criminal law. The municipal authorities provide schools, and 
each village or township is obliged to support at least one. If the 
township is too poor the government assists, and of late has been 
supplying the school-books, which are imported from Spain. 

The city of Choluteca is the capital of the Department. It is 
orderly, clean, and healthy, is situated on the bank of the Choluteca 
River. 36 miles from its mouth, and has a population of from 3,000 
There is a private college in the city of which Mr. Joseph 
A. White, an American, who has resided in Honduras for 2- years. 
is chief director. The Governor of the Department is Don V. Wil- 
liams, who is of English descent : his father having been a Cornish- 
man. 

»Jen. Williams is an energetic and patriotic public officer, and is 
doing everything in his power to promote the prosperity and to 
advance the industrial interests of the country. 



The Traditions and History 
of the Mines of the Company. 

The village of San Juan is situated in a valley with an elevation 
of 2,000 feet above the sea level. It is three miles from the town of 
Corpus, and eighteen miles from the city of Choluteca. The distance 
from Choluteca to the port of Pedrigal is nine miles. The first 
three miles of the twenty-seven miles of road from San Juan to 
Pedrigal covers the descent of the mountain, and it can be made 
practicable for carts at an expense not exceeding $1,000. 

On the northeast side of the valley, in the mountain of San Juan, 
are located the abandoned mines which the company is engaged 
in reopening. The principal veins are the Esperanza, the Dos 
Hermanos, and the Manto. which is a lead from the Dos Hermanos. 
It is stated on the authority of the records in the archives at Teguci- 
galpa that these mines were discovered and first worked in 1660. It 
is evident from the extent of the old Spanish workings and the large 
damp-piles and heaps of refuse ore which are encountered in the 
operations of the company that they were extensively operated for 



OF 90LD ASD SILVSS. ;;«. 

many years. Tradition says when first worked they acquired great 
fame because of i heir abundant production of gold and silver, hut 
thai they were afterwards abandoned owing to a revoll of the Cho- 
lulos or < boluteca Indians. 

During the reign of Charles II., of Spain, the mine-owners of Hon- 
duras petitioned the king to assist the mining industry by sending 
them certain supplies, such as quicksilver and powder, of whirl, they 
were In need, and for the sale of which the crown enjoyed a mon- 
opoly, and they also begged thai labor to work in the mines be sup- 
they were more in need of it than anything else. In reply 
to the petition Kin;; Charles dispatched a vessel with the supplies 
and directed that the necessary detail- of. peons be made from the 
Indian population of the neighboring town- and agricultural dis- 
tricts, and that they be distributed among the mine! according to 

their importance. In the written order of the kin;,' the EsperaHZS 

and the l to.-, Hermanoa are mentioned a- among themosl Important 
rnine^., (the Department. In replying to the petition Hi 

■ ■Miction of gold and Silver from the mine- of 

Honduras during the reign of his grandfather, when each year a box 
of gold nuggets from the mines of Choluteca, of the shape of 
tamarind-, were gent to Spain and presented to the king. They 
are caller] in this document MUreeUi Tamarinde , " my kingly tam- 
arinds." 

There are no accurate data attainable with regard to the • 

rtmenl of Choluteca in the period immediately previous 
to the revolution of 1821, which led to the separation from Spain, 

but no sooner was the country opened Dp to foreign enteric 

the greai reputation of these properties attracted the attention of 
English mining adventurers. Captain John Moore. R. N., having 
become acquainted with their history, determined to work them, 

and be located in ' 'hnluteca for that purpose a- earl,'. 

During the twenty years following Captain Moore'i >ettlemen1 in 

Honduras the Central American States were the scene of the political 
disturbances and sanguinary civil wars which did so much to 
prejudice the civilized world against them as desirable di- 
emigration or investment, taptain Moore found it impossible t" 
■ systematic mining work where his laboT not continually 
heintr impressed for military service by the chief's of the many rival 
faction-, and when the COUntl 

confidence and prevent him from securing the cap I 



40 



IIOXDVUAS: ITS MIXES 



purchase supplies ami machinery. He was so thoroughly satisfied 
of the great value of the properties, however, that in the hope there 
would be a change for the better in the political condition of the 
country be remained in Honduras for over twenty years, finally 
dying tbere. He maintained himself from the profits realized in 
working rich pockets of free milling ores encountered in the work 
he did on the different lodes. In 1844 and 1845 Captain Moore, 
in connection with Mr. George Collier, who went to Honduras as 
bookkeeper in 1838, when the Guayabillas mine of Yuscaran was 
reopened, and who is still living at Tegucigalpa, and another 
Englishman named Palo worked the Manto quite extensively. 
One of the arrastras used^by them to treat the ore is now the site 
of an aguadiente mill. 



Recent History . 

In 1872 General K. Streber, now of the Zucher & Streber Com- 
pany of Yuscaran, who is of German parentage, although for a 
long time a resident of the Central American States, worked the 
Esperanza in connection with his step-brother, Joaquin Bernhardt. 
They selected the ore by hand, the only method of concentration 
known, and shipped it to Germany. The enterprise was quite 
successful, but was abandoned because Messrs. Streber & Bernhardt, 
who were citizens of Honduras, became involved in political 
troubles and were arrested. General Streber, in the new Honduras 
of the last fifteen years, when the abilities and energies of the 
people are expended in developing the material wealth of the 
country, and are not dissipated in ruinous political contests, is one 
of the most extensive mine-operators in the Republic. No one 
better knows the valuable mines of the country, and that he does 
not own the Esperanza and the Dos Hermanos is not his fault. 
He and his family have made a number of efforts since 1872 to 
obtain control of these mines, and they only failed through the 
incompetency of the agents representing them, and the demand on 
their personal attention made by other enterprises in which they 
are engaged. Just before the properties were taken up under the 
mining laws by Mr. Theo. Nehring for a syndicate from whom the 



OF GOLD AND SILVER. 4J 

company purchased them, an agent of General Streber abandoned 
work on the Esperanza, having lost a shaft through bad timber- 
ing. 

When Streber and Bernhardt were operating on the Esperanza 
in 1872, General Streber and General V. Williams, at present Gov- 
ernor of the Department, formed a copartnership to work the Dos 
Hermanos. They repaired an old shaft on the northeast side of the 
mountain. They found the ledge 12 feet in width, with a very rich 
streak of ore nine inches in thickness which yielded an ounce of 
gold to each pound of rock. This pay streak did not continue, but 
in stoping died out in low-grade vein matter. They afterwards 
sunk on this pay streak, but in sinking the third poso or shaft of 
15 feet, broke through into the extensive old work. They examined 
this old work and came to the conclusion that on this level the 
Spaniards had worked out the rich pockets. 

An additional proof of the great richness of these veins is 
found in the fact that during all these years when no systematic 
work was dune on the property, individual miners made a living 
working only a few hours each day in selecting the quartz and 
reducing it by the crudest of methods. A "Molinete" is a large 
stone hollowed out so that another stone fits exactly into the cavity. 
The smaller stone is cone-shaped, and has a pole with a handle 
fastened into it. With this handle the smaller stone is turned back 
and forth in the cavity. The ore is broken into small pieces and 
is thrown with a little water in between the cone-shaped smaller 
rock and the side of the cavity in the larger rock, and by the back 
and forth action is ground to a fine powder. Quicksilver is then 
added, and the gold amalgam is washed, and retorted in the open 
air, thereby losingthe quicksilver. The gold, which is from fourteen 
to fifteen carats fine, is then exchanged with the merchants of the 
neighboring towns for merchandise. 



The Dos Hermanos Mine. 

The remains of old workings on the property are very extensive. It 
is almost impossible to start a tunnel or prospect hole in the side of 
the mountain without first passing through refuse ore on the surface 



42 HONDURAS: ITS MINES 

which has been discarded by the old workers in selecting their ore 
for treatment. In starting No. 2 tunnel, 24 feet of old dump was 
passed through before the original surface of the hill was struck. 
The Dos Hermanos vein is very wide at the surface, and was worked 
by the Spaniards on the same principle as an open railway cutting. 
There is now quite a valley or basin between the walls of the vein 
which remains an indisputable proof of the value of the ore, and an 
enduring monument to the perseverance and industry of the old 
Spanish miners. There seem to be several parallel ledges, and at 
points where they have all been worked, the opening is fully 100 feet 
in width. It is not likely that the old workers with the primitive 
appliances at their command found it profitable to treat rock which 
they could not select up to a value of several ounces of gold per ton. 
While the arrastra is an efficient machine with which to recover 
free gold the rude machines used in Gholuteca would not pulverize 
under the most favorable conditions more than one ton in 24 hours. 
Quicksilver was very expensive, and the amount lost in retorting 
was large, so that the rock required to have a considerable value to 
repay the expense of mining, selection, transportation and treat- 
ment. It is improbable, therefore, that the whole of the great mass 
of vein matter which has been removed by the old workers was of 
sufficiently high grade to pay them to treat. Their practice was to 
break all the rock between the walls, and then select the richer ores, 
and the ledges no doubt contained streaks of very rich pay matter 
like the nine-inch pay streak found by Messrs. Streber and Williams 
in their work in 1872. Their banks of refuse ore on the sides of the 
open cut show that this was the method of the old workers, and the 
extent of the workings proves that their operations were continued 
for a long period, and must, therefore, have been very profitable. 

But the old Spanish work is not confined to the surface of the hill, 
and crops of the veins. The company lias reopened an old 
Spanish tunnel 604 ft. in length. This tunnel is about 6 ft. high, 
and has a general width of 4 ft. on the bottom, and 3 ft. on the top, 
but in places where the rock is very hard it narrows down consid- 
erably, and there are points where it is only wide enough for a 
" Tanatero," or ore-bearer, to get through. This tunnel has a south- 
west course, and is on the opposite side of the hill from where the 
new tunnels of the company are being driven. It crosses two 
ledges, and several chimneys of rich ore were encountered and 
worked out above the tunnel level. It was entirely closed at the 




te^— BE 






44 HONDURAS: ITS MINES 

mouth, and was only located by a small stream of water which 
proved to be drainage from it. A mass of roots and trees some eight 
inches in diameter were cut out of the mouth. There are other old 
tunnels on the same side of the hill, and above this one, but none 
have as yet been discovered below it. 



The Dos Hermanos 

Vein Opened Below the 

Old Works. 

The Dos Hermanos vein, or one of the ledges of the vein, has been 
cut in the No. 2 tunnel of the company, below the Spanish work on 
the surface, and it is 25 feet in thickness. This tunnel is in 170 feet, 
and when continued will cut other ledges of the Dos Hermanos, 
and also the Esperanza, which is behind the Dos Hermanos, and 
has an almost parallel course. This ledge consists of quartz carry- 
ing free gold, and gold and silver in different combinations. It is 
a very valuable discovery, as it is an excellent concentrating ore, 
and altogether a readily-solved and highly profitable milling prop- 
osition. 



A Free Milling Gold 
and Concentrating Ore. 

The whole 25 feet of the vein was carefully sampled, and the assay 
obtained was $15.30 in gold per ton of 2,000 lbs. and 2 oz. of silver. 
To ascertain the amount of free gold which could be saved a quan- 
tity of the ore was pulverized wet by passing it through a No. 1 slot 
screen, over amalgamated copper plates, and there was saved at the 
rate of $8.34 per ton. The tailings were caught, sampled, and 
assayed, and proved still to contain $6.20 of gold per ton of 2,000 
lbs. and 2 oz. of silver. These tailings were passed over a concen- 
trator, and gave concentrates containing in gold $578.80 per ton of 
2,000 lbs. and 20 oz. of silver. The tailings from the concentrator 



OF GOLD AXIi sILVhl:. 



45 



assayed $1.80 in gold per ton of l'.OOo tt>s. and 1 oz. of silver. From 
this test it appears that the ore will concentrate in the ratio of over 
100 tons into 1 . 



A Highly Profitable Concentrating 
Proposition. 



These concentrates can be shipped on pack-mules to Pedrigal 
(27 miles from San Juan), from Pedrigal to Amapala by lighters, 
and from Amapala by the Isthmus of Panama by the vessels of the 
Pacific Mail Steamship Company to Xew York, at a cost, calculating 
upon present rates of freight, not exceeding $50 per ton. These con- 
centrates would therefore be worth to the company free of all freight 
charges, losses in treatment, and cost of smelting over $500 per ton. 
A milling and concentrating plant by which can be treated 100 tons 
of this ore per day will give the company gross earnings of $834 
for the free gold saved and $500 for the concentrates, or altogether 
$1,334 per day. From this must be deducted the cost of mining and 
concentrating 100 tons pur day. 

All the conditions affecting mining are exceptionally favorable at 
San Juan. The climate is equable, and work inside and outside 
the mines can be prosecuted every day of the year. The location is 
so elevated that the waters of the Bay of Fonseca, thirty miles distant, 
are plainly distinguishable from the mouths of the company's tun- 
nels on the side of the mountain, and Americans enjoy good health 
there. The water is excellent for drinking purposes. There is an 
ample supply for milling and steam-making purposes all the year 
round, and for water-power one-half of the year, near to the mines. 
At a distance of a few miles there is a water-power of large volume, 
constant throughout the year, which can be utilized for the devel- 
opment of power through an electrical installation. Wood for 
mining purposes, and for fuel to make steam, is found on the prop- 
erty in abundance. Native labor can be had at 40 cents. United 
States currency, per day, for ordinary workmen ; 70 cents for miners, 
and $1.00 per day for skilled mechanics. All descriptions of mining 
machinery and supplies are permitted to be imported into the conn- 



4G 



Ho.\ HUT: AS: ITS MINES 



try by the mining companies free of duty, and there are no charges 
on the exportation of bullion. The work is all above water-level, 
and the tunnels to reach the ore bodies will not be long. Under 
these very favorable circumstances an estimate of $3.34 per ton on 
the basis of a production of a hundred tons per day, or an aggregate 
sum of $334.00 to cover all expenses for mining, milling, concen- 
trating, and superintendence, is ample. This leaves a net profit of 
$1,000 on the production of 100 tons per day from the Dos Her- 
manos lode. 



The Great Mother - Lode 
of the District. 



But calculations based on the assay value of the low-grade ore of 
the Dos Hermanos lode, or on the assay value of the ore sampled 
across the lode at points where there are no high-grade streaks such 
as the ledge is known to contain, are too low because the average 
assay value of the ore which can be furnished in large quantities 
from this great mother- vein will probably be of much higher value 
than $15.34 in gold and 2 oz. in silver per ton. In mineral districts, 
rich in the precious metals, there is usually some great lode which 
preponderates all others in the vicinity both in width, extent, and 
the value of its ores. These large deposits are usually called mother- 
veins. and all the smaller ledges, leads, and veins are supposed to 
emanate from them. From its history, from the evidence of exten- 
sive old work upon it, from its size, from the many rich pockets it 
contains, and from the high value of the average vein matter, we 
aro justified in believing that the Dos Hermanos is the mother-lode 
of the mining district of Corpus. The famous Corpus mine, the pro- 
duction of gold from which was so great as to create doubts as to 
the genuineness of the metal, and for which the king of Spain ap- 
pointed a sub-treasurer to collect the king's fifth (one-fifth of the 
product of all the mines of gold and silver in the Spanish provinces 
was taken by the Crown), is situated three miles west of this prop- 
erty, on the same mountain, and is no doubt a continuation of the 
Dos Hermanos lode, or is a ledge from it. 



OF GOLD AND SILVER. 4- 

The Esperanza 
Excellent Concentrating Ore. 

The Dos Hermanos and Esperanza veins crop out on the south- 
west slope of the San Juan mountain. They are parallel loiles, 
the Esperanza lying back of the Dos Hermanos. Their strike is 
northwest and southeast, and they dip into the hill. The ores of 
the Esperanza are richer than those of the Dos Hermanos. This 
vein has two ledges, but the work is not sufficiently developed to 
prove their width. The company is driving a tunnel fifty-four 
feet below the level of the tunnel of the former workers. There 
is a considerable pile of ore at the mouth of this old tunnel, which 
was closed many years ago. 

An average sample of this ore was assayed. It contained .*49.61 
in gold and 28 oz. of silver per ton of 2,000 pounds. A test was 
also made and $2.80 per ton in gold saved by passing it through a 
No. 4 slot screen, and over amalgamated copper plates. A con- 
centrating test of the tailings gave concentrates containing $661.56 
in gold and 394 oz. of silver per ton of 2,000 pounds. The tailings 
from the concentrator contained $14.67 in gold and 7 oz. in silver 
per ton. This is a splendid concentrating ore. Besides $2.80 in 
gold, concentrates worth (allowing 92c per oz. for the value of the 
silver) $1,024.04 are obtained from 20 tons of the rock. Owing to 
the location of the mine so near to tide- water, the concentrates 
can be shipped either to the United States, Great Britain, or Ger- 
many, where they can be disposed of so as to realize at least 
$900.00 per ton above all costs, losses in treatment, &c., which is 
much better than if the company was compelled to smelt the ores, 
owing to the difficulty in getting coke in Honduras. According 
to the traditions of the country, the Esperanza was a larger pro- 
ducer of the precious metals under the Spanish management than 
the Dos Hermanos, and it is without a doubt a very valuable property. 

The Manto is a ledge with a strike nearly at right angles to those 
of the Dos Hermanos and Esperanza. It is from one to two yards 
wide, and the ore is a quartz carrying free gold. Much of the gold 

taken out by the miners of the district in late years has come ir 

this ledge. The company is driving a tunnel to cut the Manto 
which is now in nearly 100 feet. 

The No. 2 tunnel in which the Dos Hermanos lead, twenty-live 



48 HONDURAS: ITS MINES 

feet in thickness, was cut, is situated 1,200 feet west of the Manto 
tunnel, and they are both at the same elevation on the side of the 
mountain. Two hundred and thirty-six feet below these tunnels, 
and about equidistant between them, another tunnel is. being driven 
which will cut all the Dos Hermanos and Esperanza ledges. 

On a spur of the principal mountain a fifth tunnel is being driven 
at a lower level than either of the others. Its course is toward No. 
2 tunnel, south 32° east. It will cut two ledges, one at 90 feet, and 
the other at 150 feet from the mouth. On the second ledge there are 
two native shafts, in both of which the ore is good. 



The Trinidad Vein, 

also a Free Milling Gold and 

Concentrating Ore. 

Superintendent O'Hora has just forwarded a box containing 75 
pounds of quartz from one of the new claims upon which he is 
working, and which he has named the Trinidad. Although the 
average assay value of this ore is low, it is also a splendid concen- 
trating proposition. An average assay gave $6.20 in gold and 4 oz. 
of silver per ton. Of this $2.01 in gold per ton was saved on an 
amalgamated silver plate. The tailings from the battery were 
caught, sampled, and assayed, and proved still to contain $4.14 in 
gold and 2 oz. in silver per ton. These tailings were passed over a 
Golden Gate concentrator. The result was a concentrate containing 
$620.15 in gold and 37 oz. of silver per ton. The tailings from the 
concentrator contained only a trace of gold, and something like 2 
oz. of silver per ton. 



The Ores of the Company 

Can be Very Economically and Profitably 

Handled. 

That all the ores of the company which have been tested so far 
can be successfully concentrated is a fact the importance of which 
cannot be over-estimated. Its effect is to make the milling proposi- 



OJ? 90LD AND SILVER. 49 

tion of the company one wliich can be cheaply and satisfactorily 
solved. The company is relieved from the necessity of establishing 
extensive milling or smelting plants. Much less capita] will be 
required to put it upon a dividend-paying basis. The company will 
require only stamps and concentrators and the power to run them. 
These can be erected for one-fourth the cost of a milling plant for 
refractory ores or for a smelting plant of equal capacity, ami in 
much less time. 

The company has two great advantages over many other mining 
enterprises in the character of its ores and its location so conve- 
nient to the sea-coast. By concentrating, the value of many tons 
can be combined into one, and then at a small expense shipped to 
the best market in the world. This company can lie put into suc- 
cessful and profitable operation in a very short time and at a com- 
paratively small expenditure. 



The Financial Plan of 
the Company. 

The Dos Hermanns Mining and Milling Company is organized 

under the corporation OCi of (lie Slate of Colorado. 'flic capital 

stock is $5,000,000, divided Into 600,000 Bharesof$10each. The prin- 
cipal office of the company is at I'ollsville, Pa., where the annual 

meetings of the stockholders are held, on the second Tuesday of 
April of each year. The capital stock is made lull paid and unassess- 
able, under the provisions of the act under which the company is 
incorporated, by being paid for the property and franchises of the 
company located in the mining district of Corpus, Department of 
CholUteca, Republic of Honduras. 

One hundred and twenty-live thousand shares of the capital stock 
was retained by the original owners of the property. Two hundred 
and fifty-four thousand shares, less eight thousand three hundred 
and thirty-three shares (set aside as part compensation lor flve years 
for the superintendent in Honduras, Mr. I'. II. O'llora, who is also 
paid -SI.")!! per month) have already been sold and a pari of the pro- 
ceeds used to develop the property and to pin-chase the Manto Mine 



50 



HONbVRAf-: ITS MINES 



and the rights of certain individuals in buildings, farm-lands,, 
pasture-lands, water-rights, and timber in the mineral zone, a con- 
cession of which the Government of Honduras has granted to the 
company. 



The Company's Concession of 
Nine Square Miles. 

The company first purchased the denouncements or claims on the 
Dos Hermanos and Esperanza veins and the development work 
which had been done on them. The Government of Honduras 
then granted the company a concession which was afterwards con- 
firmed by an act of Congress, of a mineral zone, three miles square, 
surrounding the Dos Hermanos and Esperanza properties. By this 
concession the company became owner of all the discovered and 
undiscovered veins bearing gold, silver, and metals within this area, 
not previously taken up by other individuals or corporations. The 
consideration given the Government is that the company agrees to 
actively prosecute development work on the Dos Hermanos and 
Esperanza properties. The concession also carried with it the right 
to all unoccupied lands, timber, and water-rights within the limits 
of the concession. The company then purchased the Manto de- 
nouncement or claim from the party who was working it, and some 
buildings, and five thousand acres of farm, pasture, and timber- 
lands, and valuable water-rights within the limits of the concession, 
which were owned by citizens of the country. The company thus is 
sole owner of all the veins discovered and undiscovered in an area 
of nine square miles, and of the buildings, farm and pasture-lands, 
timber and water-rights on the surface of the same. They have also- 
denounced under the general mining laws of Honduras three de- 
nouncements or claims outside of the limits of the concession upon 
which prospecting work is being done. The titles to these properties 
will be perfected under the provisions of the mining laws of the 
Republic. The development work of the company was com- 
menced nearly a year ago, and has been vigorously prosecuted. 
Besides the work on the outside denouncements five tunnels 



OF GOLD AND SILVEE. 



are being driven, all of which will cut and prove, at different 
points and elevations, the Dos Hermanos, Esperanza, and other 
valuable veins. 



The Treasury Stock. 

Now that the company has the property sufficiently prospected 
to demonstrate the existence of large bodies of rich ore, and to make 
it necessary to provide machinery and appliances for the treatment 
of the same, it is entirely free from debt, and has a balance of unex- 
pended assets, including money and bills receivable, approximating 
$10,000 to apply toward the further development of the property and 
the necessary works for the treatment of ores. There are also in the 
treasury one hundred and twenty-one thousand shares of the capital 
stock, which may be sold if necessary and the proceeds applied for 
the purposes of the company. It is thought, however, that it will 
not be necessary to sell more than twenty-one thousand shares of 
the stock in the treasury. This amount of stock sold at a price not 
less than $1 per share it is calculated will give the company suffi- 
cient means, with the balance in the treasury, to erect a twenty-five 
ton per day free milling concentrating, plant and to maintain itself 
and continue the work of development until the plant is in opera- 
tion and the company shall be self-sustaining and earning a surplus 
above all expenses. If this estimate should prove correct there will 
remain in the treasury one hundred thousand shares, which amounts 
to a reduction of the capital stock equivalent to 20', . 



Mr. P. H. O'Hora, Superintendent. 

The company has an efficient working force in Honduras. The 
Superintendent and general agent is Mr. P. IT. O'Hora, late of Dun- 
more, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, where for nearly twenty 
years lie was employed by the Pennsylvania Coal Company and for 
the greater portion of that period as inside foreman in one of their 
largest operations. Mr. O'Hora is a thorough miner, and is proving 



50 HONDURAS: ITS MINES, ETC. 

himself in every way qualified for the important position he occu- 
pies. The greater portion of his salary is paid him in stock, and he 
has also purchased considerable stock. He is therefore deeply inter- 
ested in the success of the enterprise. His integrity is unquestioned, 
as may be ascertained by inquiry of his former employers or in the 
community in which he resided. 

Mr. O'Hora has with him several American miners and mechanics 
to direct the native labor, and he has also an assayer and metallur- 
gist, who has a complete assaying outfit. The Company has also a 
complete equipment of mining-tools, appliances and supplies. 



4 

J